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Nicolas Sarkozy: “No Way To Let The French Colonies Of Africa Have Their Own Currencies!”

by Matthew, via How Africa

In an interview with the BMTV television channel, [former president of France] said that the best way to preserve the health of the French economy is to keep the FCFA as the only currency usable in the former French colonies in Africa.

France can not allow its former colonies to create their own currency to have total control over their central banks . If this happens, it would be a catastrophe for the public treasury that will lead France to the rank of 20th world economic power. There is no question, therefore, of letting the French colonies of Africa have their own currencies

What is the CFA Franc?

The CFA franc is the name of two currencies common to several African countries, partly comprising the Central African franc zone (CEMAC) and the franc zone of West Africa ( UEMOA).

How does the CFA Franc work?

Principle 4 is the most technical. First, it should be noted that the Banque de France opens an account for each central bank (one for the BCEAO and one for the BEAC) and an account for each of the member states of the zones.

This is how it works: when a country in the CFA zone exports to a country other than France, it collects currencies that feed the Central Bank concerned. And this Central Bank has an obligation to transfer at least 50% of its foreign exchange earnings to its account opened at the Banque de France. So far, it is the Banque de France that manages 50% of the currencies of franc zone countries.

Finally, it should be made clear that the governance and execution bodies of this whole system (the Board of Directors, the Supervisory Board, etc.) include representatives of the French state who have a right of veto and are paid to preserve Interests of their country (which can not be criticized elsewhere).


  1. Sorry, Not Buying It says

    The continuation of French imperialism reminds me of an article in Black Agenda Report about the white power rally that took place in Paris not too long ago after the Charlie Hebdo massacre when everyone was expected to blather “We are all French”. Why not “We are all Nigerians?” or “We are all Lebanese?” (Lebanon had suffered a horrific ISIS-sponsored attack in which many Lebanese died)

  2. Alan says

    Liberté, égalité, fraternité……for some.

  3. Lumpy Gravy says

    Do you know that many African countries continue to pay colonial tax to France since their independence till today? Do you remember the assassinations of Félix-Roland Moumié, Thomas Sankara and other African leaders by the French secret service? Have you heard of France’s abysmal colonial record from Haiti to Vietnam to Algeria and many other places?

    If you ask people in France these questions today the answer of most would be either a straight “no” or a bewildered “what do you mean?” because most people here (as well as anywhere else) really haven’t got a clue about these things. I find this strange as so many aspects of France’s present day policies provide hints to the country’s colonial legacy and betray its contemporary colonial ambitions. Only two or three years ago Hollande was sooo eager to bomb Syria (a former French colony) that Obama had to personally intervene and stop him from interfering in the equally malicious US plans for Syria.

    P.S.: I originally used direct links to Silicon Africa and Scribbles from the Den but strangely, while I was writing this, both web sites went down, hmm… So, I replaced them with links to the archived pages (

    • David Otness says

      I think the server must have been overloaded, it happened to me too last night. I just posted the same article that I’ve kept bookmarked for several years without seeing you had posted the same one. Now that the Silicon Africa site is back up.

  4. summitflyer says

    Kinda spells it out nicely doesn’t it .Muammar Qaddafi was about to establish a new currency based on the gold dinar for the African continent .Sarkozy just explained why Qaddafi had to be taken out ,regardless of the reasons the East was telling us.Sakorzy should be marched of to the gallows promptly for utterly destroying
    Libya for the sake of trying to preserve the French franc.

    • summitflyer says

      Correction ” the West” and not” the East”

  5. Currency under a capitalist regime: the modern equivalent of shackles, be it as it operates in the heart of the Empire or in the outer reaches of the colonies.

    How forthright of Sarkozy to articulate the matter so plainly: french speaking Africa exists but to pay a 50% levy to France on all its exports, to keep the Sartrean “salauds” comfortable in their villas and driving their German made Mercedes.

    (For anyone interested in an analysis on how “money,” on a possible trajectory toward the de-commodification of everything, could be de-commodified, might I recommend what I deem to be a rather perspicacious and accessible piece by Paul Mattick: What is Communism? — an approach to the issue of “money” well deserving a bit of reflection, in my opinion.)

    • summitflyer says

      Thank you for the link Norman although I consider myself a small c capitalist , i.e. small business .The communist system tried by the soviet union did not work and the capitalist system of the Western world is failing due to wealth being sucked up to the top tier and perpetually always less for the middle and none for the lower tiers of society.Someday we should see a meeting of the Western and Eastern ideals for governing ourselves and so a system where all will have the necessities of life , roof over one’s head , food for proper survival etc .
      As we move forward into a more robotized society ,there is no other way other than to war and eventually all destroy ourselves .I tend to take the more optimistic view , that we will evolve not only in an economic sense but also in a spiritual sense.Just my thoughts.Cheers.
      By the way I am related to some Pilon s.

      • “The communist system tried by the soviet union did not work . . . ”

        Yes. And Mattick, I think, provides an excellent analysis of at least one of the more important reasons why that was.

        Of course, read him or not. But he may surprise you, and if nothing else, may deepen your grasp of the systemic role of “money” under capitalism.

        And if you are related to some Pilons, we most definitely are related. For there aren’t that many of “us” about. On the other hand, who on the planet isn’t related to anyone else, eh? As they say, no more than six degrees of separation, and between us, probably a whole lot less.

        Cheers to you, too.


        Do say high to Oncle-Denis and Tante-Rena for me. 😉

      • Sorry, Not Buying It says

        “The communist system tried by the soviet union did not work and the capitalist system of the Western world is failing due to wealth being sucked up to the top tier and perpetually always less for the middle and none for the lower tiers of society.”

        Yes, it’s failing for that reason, but you don’t explain WHY it’s happening for that reason. This is where capitalist macrodynamics come in. As Lenin said, the type of capitalism in the imperialist countries is the highest stage of capitalism. The concentration of wealth is a manifestation of the concentration of capital, which characterizes the current capitalist era. This is one of the defining features of capitalist-imperialism, along with the increasingly central role played by finance capital, the export of capital (as opposed to just goods and services), and the formation of capitalist trading associations.

        Lenin, during the New Economic Period in the Soviet Union (in which small capitalists were allowed to operate), was explicit about the dangers of allowing even small private enterprise market relations. The reason is that capitalist modes of thinking, action, organization, and more importantly accumulation dynamics continually intrude into the political-economic relations of society, and these relations need to be overcome and vanquished if socialism and then communism are to be built (that is, if the working class is to be truly emancipated from the virus of capitalist exploitation). Many socialist and even Marxist writers have treated small businesses and capitalists as essentially “no big deal”, arguing that there are bigger fish to fry (namely, the big capitalists who own or control gigantic corporations). But in reality, they are a big deal. It’s certainly true that qualitatively they are not the same as Goldman Sachs, Exxon-Mobil or General Motors; it’s certainly true that they are nowhere near as harmful as the big bourgeoisie, but it is nevertheless still true that capitalist-imperialism has its germ in capitalist relations per se, and that includes small scale private enterprises in a competitive market. What many bourgeois and petty-bourgeois commentators always seem to fail to understand is that in a competition, those who win are in a better position to win again. Hence, accumulation, and the ultimate subordination of everything to that singular drive.

        Note how you’re arguing from your own class interests (it’s a fundamental tenet of historical materialism that people will tend to believe what is in their perceived class interests to believe): the “communist system tried by the Soviet Union did not work”, and current monopoly capitalism in the West squeezes you out (or at least this seems to be your gripe: that it denies you your “fair share” of the economic pie owed to you for being a small capitalist). The remedy, in your eyes, is to restructure the economy to ensure that more of the proceeds make their way to “the middle” and to the bottom, but doesn’t even so much as imply the need to eliminate the big bourgeoisie as a class, only to make the system “fairer”. And what, in the end, will this greater fairness lead to? More accumulation, more crass materialism, but with “everyone” partaking in it. In other words, more ecocidal outcomes as well. More aspirations to be part of the “middle class” and to live the “good life”. We’ve seen these sorts of reformist tendencies in the rhetoric of Sanders and others, who cast themselves as “progressives”, even “socialists”, but who cap their demands with some extra taxes here and there on the super rich to help pay for some social programs. That’s the extent of their “socialism”. They are in fact social-imperialists: socialists in name, imperialists in deed. This co-towing to small business is guaranteed to fail as a solution to the problems of the working class. As Richard Wolff has noted: reforms of this sort leave intact the very institutions that have a structural imperative to undo them. And the individuals who lead these institutions have become experts at doing so. The socialist solution is to deprive them of the power to make a come-back, to pull out from under their feet the fertile ground of capitalist market relations.

        Some think that the problem is “corporate capitalism” or “crony capitalism” rather than capitalism in and of itself. I beg to differ. 1) Capitalism is built entirely upon the exploitation of the working class, at whatever scale, and at all times; 2) it has objective laws of accumulation, beyond the reach of any individual capitalist to put a stop to for personal or ethical reasons These accumulation dynamics always lead to ever greater concentrations of wealth; 3) the bourgeoisie, while it can and has played a progressive role in social struggle (such as against feudalism in Europe, and in China where the small and national bourgeoisie helped fight against the comprador big-bureaucrat state capitalist bourgeoisie allied with land-lordism and imperialism), its essential characteristic is that it wavers, vacillates and is uncertain, jealously on the lookout for its own narrow and parochial interests. This is especially so in an imperialist country like the United States. In a revolutionary New Democracy phase, small-scale capitalist relations and enterprises may be necessary for a while if we are talking about an oppressed semi-feudal country fighting against imperialism; there, the forces of production are not yet sufficiently powerful to ensure security against incursions from the imperialist states, and some concessions must be made to drawn from the expertise and networks of the small bourgeoisie. Even so, this represents a temporary phase on the road to proper socialist organization. But in an advanced capitalist-imperialist country like the United States, Japan, France or Germany, it would probably not be necessary to retain small-scale capitalist market relations, because the forces of production and the social nature of production in large-scale capitalist enterprises are such that the working class could simply expropriate the bourgeoisie and convert existing big capital to the needs of the working class.

        The reasons for the failures of Soviet and Chinese socialism failed is a topic that needs to be honestly and diligently investigated. But that is emphatically not the same as issuing sweeping statements about the “unworkability” of socialism. The history of these socialist experiments provides the international working class with a rich bosom of experience and lessons to draw upon in its historic mission to seize political power for itself; that mission has not dissipated simply because the largest challengers to the capitalist system were defeated. We must not squander these lessons and must not sink back into capitalist assumptions about the “need” for private enterprise. Such platitudes as the latter only serve the imperialist bourgeoisie and put a choke-hold on the possibility for true emancipation.

        • If you don’t mind S,NBI, I’d like to pilfer your comment to make a standalone post with it on my blog. Also, if you have any other material that you’ve written, shouldn’t you be posting it somewhere online? Perhaps you do. Where might I find it?

          • Sorry, Not Buying It says

            Hi Norman,

            pilfer away. I don’t yet have a website where I collate my thoughts. I’m still at the stage of just going to where people go online and challenging their assumptions where I see that they need to be challenged.

            • You need to start a blog or I can give you access to mine you can post whatever you like when you like. Not a ton of traffic, but it is steady and incrementally increasing. Let me know . . .

                • I’ve posted your comment here. Leave a comment. You will go into moderation. No one but me will see it. I’m pretty sure you will have to leave your email address to do so, and that’s the whole point, for me to get your email. Once I have that, I’ll let you have mine. I’ll then set up a posting account for you and let you have a password to post. Aye!

                  • Sorry, Not Buying It says

                    Thanks Norman. I’ll do that.

      • If ever you can make the time, I recommend this lecture by the very engaging, lively and ever impassioned Michael Parenti:

          • Sylvie,

            At the moment I don’t have the stomach to “investigate” things in that particular direction. Maybe later. Do continue with your efforts, by all means. If I don’t get back to you on any of it, please do not take that as me being dismissive of you. I have no doubt that “videos” and “reportage in images” can be faked and often are, and when not faked, can be grossly misinterpreted.

            One instance that comes to mind is the BBC Panorama’s “Saving Syria’s Children.” See this serious critique of that “documentary” here. For other such serious efforts, see the efforts of Denis O’Brien here or this here article by Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli.

            It is too early yet to make any determinations about the “evidentiary” quality of the pictures and videos of the Manchester bombing.

            What put me off this line of “inquiry” is the insensitivity, the egregious lack of judgement, displayed by some commenters here with respect to people who may in fact be grieving and traumatized. People are truly sometimes incomprehensible to me.

            So not to be discourteous, but I can’t and won’t at this time engage on this particular matter in so far as it pertains to Manchester.

            • Sylvie says

              I am deliberately not discussing Manchester for that reason. I am talking about earlier things including the Saving Syria’s Children program. I hope you can pop by and read and chat.

  6. John says

    Which is why the French led the attack on Qaddafi, leading to total crisis, chaos and anarchy there today.
    I wonder how the friends and relatives of the 22 who died and 60 injured in Manchester feel about this?

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